Ugh, it's Saturday, which means another prime opportunity for Neuheisel and his vespa clown show to embarrass our great alma mater. Fortunately, this time it won't be in front of a national audience, as we're back to life in regional FSN broadcasts once again. And while Lee Corso picked us to pull out the upset (never mind that we're the underdog, at home, with the talent we have on our roster), it's clear that at this point in the season, Neuheisel's fate is sealed and this game really doesn't mean much, if anything, in the bigger picture surrounding the malaise around UCLA football.
Only one thing will really bring energy and excitement back to Westwood: Dan Guerrero must be fired or resign immediately. Folks needs to not focus on Neuheisel, because, as we've said, he's done regardless at this point. It's now time to focus on the root of UCLA's problems: the tone-deaf, ineffectual chump running Morgan Center. As we've said on BN (and as many of you, on Facebook, on MexiBruin's petition, and other places across the social media landscape), nothing short of wholesale regime change will suffice.
The pre-game thread should be going up around noon, but before we get to that, let's take a look at some of the bits and pieces of football news from around the UCLA-iverse:
- In case you missed it, any discussion of UCLA football must start with the absolute lambasting that former Bruin Randy Cross gave to the UCLA administration this past week. Almost sounds like he's been reading the posts here on BN and from all of you in the community. Time for wholesale regime change.
- The Daily Bruin has a profile of our sports medicine people and the challenges they face with players who are always getting bigger, faster, and stronger and a game that always gets more violent. Unfortunately, the kid writers at the Daily Bruin didn't want to ask any tough questions, such as "why the hell can't we keep a QB upright for a single season?" or "why do wide receivers seemingly lose sensation in their hands when they suit up for UCLA leading to severe butterfinger-itis?" or "why do football players, smart enough to get through UCLA admissions, suddenly seem to forget how to play football once they arrive in Westwood?"
- In recruiting news, ESPN has a profile of U$C commit and former UCLA recruit Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick, in which he talks about how much he really liked UCLA and how he came very close to committing on the spot to the Bruins. Hmm, I wonder how many close swing-and-misses we'll have on the recruiting front now that our head coach is officially a lame duck coach in a regime that needs to be removed entirely.
- Moving on to today's game, AP's Greg Beacham has sort of a generic game preview, including a handful of empty quotes from Rick Neuheisel and various UCLA players about "not quitting," "responding to tough losses," and "the need to focus." You know, the same rah-rah crap we've heard for the entire Rick Neuheisel tenure in Westwood.
- The big story is that with UCLA missing most of its receiving corps due to suspensions (for embarrassing UCLA on national TV by stooping to the same level as criminal scumbag thief Shaq Richardson by fighting), Jerry Rice, Jr. will finally get his opportunity to get playing time. By most accounts, Junior doesn't have the talent of his Hall of Fame namesake, but he's a hard-working kid who deserves the opportunity. As Niners fans, I know Nestor and I are excited to see Rice on the back of a UCLA uniform. Now, if Jerry Jr. turns out to be the second coming of his father (which is probably unlikely), it will just reinforce what we already know: no one wastes talent like UCLA.
- And since we're playing Cal, our fellow University of California brethren, it also means a pair of brothers will face off today in the Rose Bowl, as Cal's defense will be led by senior linebacker (and hit machine) Mychal Kendricks. UCLA, on the other hand, has exciting young redshirt freshman linebacker Eric Kendricks (who should be playing a lot more over undersized special-teams-only-quality Sean Westgate). The Kendricks brothers, of course, are the sons of former UCLA running back Marv Kendricks, which naturally makes one wonder why the talented hit-machine Mychal is dark blue rather than UCLA true blue?
- In injury news, during this week, it became official that senior safety Tony Dye, slated to be the defensive leader for the Bruins this season, will be lost for the year. Dye is eligible to petition for a medical redshirt, and if the NCAA approves (and there appears to be no reason they will not, as Tony has not used a redshirt season), he will hopefully return to play for a new head coach next season who will get the most out of the talented senior safety.
Those are your pre-game Bruin Bites. Sit tight and the pre-game thread will be up in a few hours. For now, feel free to fire away with your thoughts in the open thread or check out the BN previews of Cal (here and here) Finally, if you haven't done so already, make sure you get your pre-game guesses in before kick-off at 4 p.m. PST on FSN.